One summer Joe and I tried to go an entire month without eating meat. We lasted two weeks which we thought was pretty good! During that time we learned creative ways to pack protein and fiber into our daily meals to keep us strong and full. We caved finally after adding bacon to our pizza. We still try to have at least one meatless meal a week essentially just to use up a lot of what is hanging out in our fridge.
There are a few things when Joe and I go out to dinner that if it’s on the menu, he is going to order it.
When Joe and I first started dating he had never even had spinach dip. Now look at my big strong man, ordering scallops and lamb.
Our days have been very routine pending the weather and one of our favorite parts of the day now is coming in from a long day outside, showering and then making dinner together. I have been doing the local farmers market pick up service on Saturday mornings and this go round I ordered a beautiful container of mixed mushrooms. I’m not good at identifying them but there were at least 4 – 5 different kinds in there.
I used to HATE mushrooms but I think it’s because I’ve only ever had them in lasagna or pizza and they were the slimy sliced ones. Do NOT put that in my food. I like the oyster variety or even better morel (for splurging or if I ever find them myself) . However, whatever was in this mixed bag was awesome. I knew they would have to go into a risotto and be the star of the show.
I dug through my cookbooks and found a few different recipes for mushroom risotto. I opted to make my own mushroom broth first which I believe was what took this over the edge into greatness. The entire process prep to table took about 45 minutes. The key to risotto is slow and steady wins the race. Pour in a bit of broth, stir until evaporated, repeat repeat repeat.
I didn’t have the classic arborio rice handy so I used a basmati rice and it turned out fantastic. Again, slooooow and steady will win the race.
Here is what you will need (serves 2)
- 3 cups of good quality chicken stock
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup of basmati rice ( or arborio if you have it )
- 3 tbsp dry white wine
- 1/2 cup of peas
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp chopped thyme
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan
- salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp butter
- 250 grams of mushrooms, cleaned
- a small handful of thyme sprigs
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 cup of water
- salt and pepper
To make the stock:
Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 30 minutes on low. Strain out your mushrooms from the stock, keeping both! Pick out the thyme and garlic from the mushrooms and toss.
To make the Mushroom Risotto:
Pour the mushroom stock in with your chicken stock. and bring to a simmer in a saucepan. Place another large sauce pan on the stove next to the stock pan, you are going to want them next to each other as you scoop broth into the rice.
Heat the olive oil up and add the onion, bay leaf and garlic to the pan stirring until fragrant. Once the onion is translucent, add in the rice and stir right away to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add in the white wine and allow to boil until it evaporates, it’s ok if you have to turn the heat up a tad to get it to sizzle.
Add in your mushrooms from the stock, stir and then pour in about half of your stock from the saucepan. Stir and simmer for about 10 minutes until most of the stock has been absorbed into the rice.
Stir in your peas, and add stock one ladle full at a time stirring in between each pour. Make sure before you add another scoopful that the stock gets absorbed. Do this until the rice is cooked , you might not need all the stock.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, thyme, parsley and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, cover the pan and rest for a minute or two before serving.